Paper theme : Material Design Inspired theme for Ubuntu

Paper theme image

Paper is material design inspired modern desktop theme suit. Designed by Sam Hewitt, paper theme provides clear desktop GUI experience with flat icons accompanied by light shadows. The menu lists, options etc resembles the design that we seen in vanilla android Lollipop and Marshmallow. Paper theme desktop suit currently works on Ubuntu and its derivatives.

Paper theme is supported by most of the popular desktop environment like unity, GTK 2.X, GTK 3.X, Pantheon, Budgie etc. To tweak your ubuntu desktop environment to Paper theme, you need to install the theme pack, icon pack and unity tweak tool. The theme is supported ubuntu 12.04 and higher versions. The theme is in active development, it means in case you find any bug/issue you can raise bug ticket on github and get it fixed by developer. (Link to Paper theme Site)

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Installing paper theme

To install this neatly designed theme, Open terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T) and type in the following commands

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:snwh/pulp
sudo apt-get update

#Install gtk theme

sudo apt-get install paper-gtk-theme

#Install paper theme icons

sudo apt-get install paper-icon-theme

Next, to apply changes to theme you need to have desktop tweaking tool. Unity tweak tool is one such tool to change theme and icon pack.

To install unity tweak tool, open terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T) and type in following commands:

sudo apt-get install unity-tweak-tool

unity tweak tool image


To add to the beauty of the theme you can also install the docky. Docky is a full fledged dock application that makes opening common applications and managing windows easier and quicker.

sudo apt-get install docky

Setting up theme

  1. Open Unity tweak tool from search bar.
  2. Under the Appearance section (third row),select Theme
    1. Select Paper from the list.
    2. Now select icons tab. Select Paper from list.
    3. Next under cursor section select Paper from list.

Following are screenshots for the help.

setting up theme image
usetting up icon image
setting up cursor image

Now you are all set!

Theme review

Following are the screenshots of the theme:


dashboard image

Files and terminal

files and terminal image

Here is what we feel about the theme.

  • As of the current status, the theme has one known common issue of highlighted text. While renaming a folder, highlighted text is white which matches with background and hence is not visible
    usetting up icon image
  • The window control buttons ( close, maximize and minimize) has no highlight color. It would have been good if highlight color was present.
  • If you love clean and flat design it is a good choice for desktop environment. The base colors are cold so beneficial for the long term desktop users.


So that was it in this short article. Linux OS is fun to play with. Paper theme is stable desktop environment and a good to go alternative to the default ubuntu desktop. The icons are well designed, the theme is intuitive and lightweight ( in terms of ram consumption). Overall it can be rated 8/10 needing some minor improvements. If you liked this article, share with your friends. Comment down in section below for any suggestions or issues regarding installations and customization. These commands on linux helps you to customize the desktop environment accroding to your preference. If you liked this article, share with your friends. Subscribe to blog posts. Comment down in section below.
That's all for now. Do leave suggestions, comments or questions in the comment section below.